This Week in Digital



WhatsApp's New Status

This week, WhatsApp released a new feature that may seem rather familiar to Snapchat, and Instagram, addicts. WhatsApp Status is a new feature that has rolled out globally this week that allows users to post images and short videos to their status that can only be viewed by others for 24 hours before disappearing into the ether. So, yes, it's exactly like Snapchat Stories, which Instagram ripped off them in August last year. The main differences between WhatsApp and the rest are that the videos will be end-to-end encrypted, which means that once they disappear, they are actually properly deleted and that they can be up to 45 seconds long - 35 seconds longer than Snapchat! 

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Housing Crash

It was the BRIT Awards on Wednesday and the moment that set social media alight this year happened when one of Katy Perry's backing dancers fell off stage - dressed as a house. Katy's performance of her latest single "Chained to the Rhythm" with Skip Marley featured a plethora of white houses dancing along with two huge skeleton puppets (many people thought they resembled Donald Trump and Theresa May). It was whilst dancing around the large skeleton that one dancer seemed to just walk off the end of the stage and fall into the audience, luckily no one was injured. This prompted much hilarity on Twitter, with some wondering whether the dancer was "the left shark" referring to Katy Perry's 2015 Superbowl performance where one dancer dressed as a shark became horribly out of time. 

#Piegate

On Monday night, non-league football team, Sutton United, made it through to the fifth round of the UK's FA Cup, taking on top division side, Arsenal. It was fair to say that the Sutton players were most definitely the underdogs in this story. But the game was not what made global headlines (they lost 2-0 if you're interested...). Sun Bets, a bookmaker who was coincidentally sponsoring the non-league side for the game, placed a bet on their site with odds of 8-1 that Sutton's reserve goalkeeper, Wayne Shaw, would eat a pie on camera during the match. In the 87th minute when this actually happened, it questioned the link between football and gambling. As a result of the publicity stunt, Shaw has handed in his notice at the club after it was revealed that the FA and Gambling Commission were investigating the incident, which made some people, such as Match of the Day presenter Gary Lineker, question whether there is any fun left in the game. The story was picked up globally by publishers such as The New York Times (who dubbed him the Roly Poly Goalie), The Washington Post, Le Monde and El Mundo. I imagine Sun Bet will be pretty happy with that kind of coverage!

And Finally...

A Google subsidiary, Jigsaw, has revealed it is working on an AI project called "Perspective", which aims to eliminate online abuse. Currently being tested on The New York Times, it works using algorithms to detect patterns that in previous comments have been manually marked as toxic, to decipher whether the intent of a comment is offensive. The company's president, Jared Cohen, told Medium this week “we’ve worked together to train models that allows Times moderators to sort through comments more quickly, and we’ll work with them to enable comments on more articles every day". At the moment, the NYT only allows comments on 10%of its online content due to the arduous nature of policing this content. 

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